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Muzzleloader Deer

*E.H.D. Information >

A statewide deer hunting season specifically for the use of primitive muzzleloader firearms traditionally opens December 1.

A limited number of "any deer" licenses are available to residents only.

"Antlerless whitetail deer" permits are available to both residents and nonresidents and sold through the end of the season.

  • Season Dates:
    Muzzleloader Deer - Dec. 1 - Dec. 31
  • Antlerless season extension: only those tags specifically designated as "antlerless" are valid from January 1 - January 15. "Any" deer tags no longer convert for this extended season.

Special Requirements:

  • Hunters must wear fluorescent orange.
  • Telescopic sights up to 1X may be used.
  • Smokeless powder is not allowed during muzzleloading seasons.

Free access permits

In addition to a license, a FREE access permit is required to hunt certain areas during this season. An access permit is obtained/applied for through the online license system.

Access Permit for Hill Ranch GPA, Little Moreau GPA, and all Custer National Forest Service land within Harding County: FREE Access Permit required for Archery, Muzzleloader and Youth deer hunting.

Muzzleloader Deer Unit Map


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South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger

South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger encourages and facilitates donation of wild game meat to needy people in South Dakota. You can make a tax-deductible cash donation to help offset costs of processing game animals donated through SDSAH.

Volunteer Hunter Program

Each year, the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks is contacted by landowners looking to host antlerless deer hunters, as well as hunters looking for landowners interested in allowing them to hunt on their land. In an effort to strengthen hunter-landowner relationships, we have developed the Volunteer Antlerless Deer Hunter Program.

Big Game Depredation Hunts

Resident only big game depredation hunts are generally conducted in response to severe crop and livestock feed losses that cannot be resolved using traditional non-lethal forms of depredation control. They may involve turkey, deer, or antelope. In the past, these hunts have most often been organized during severe winters when both the weather and road conditions have deteriorated.